A Conversation on Communication

You know those conversations you have with your friends recounting the recent details of your life? The conversations where you can just tell they aren’t listening because they are itching to get their turn to shine, tell you all the details of their life. How likely are you to care what they have to say when they don’t care to hear what you have to say? In order for  communication of any nature to be effective you have to imagine that the person you are communicating with is your teammate, not just someone to talk at. Your goal isn’t to coerce them into seeing your point or why what you have to say is the most important.  For quality conversations you must strive to work with your teammate to understand both the heart of what they are thinking as well as the context from which it derives.

Part of this team mentality is being able to listen. Listening means that you not only hear what your teammate has to say but also that you are reflecting on it and seeking to better understand their perspective. Don’t be the person that likes to hear their own voice. Once you hear your partner you can begin to effectively communicate with them. You can only begin to engage with your partner when you understand the perspective your partner presents, the things that are important to your partner and also the manner in which your partner thinks. If you fail to consider these things they will fail to consider your message. You have to get into their head in order for them to want to get into your head.

The same concepts apply in business. When a company is attempting to engage their customer, they can’t simply toot their own horn about why their company is so great. No one cares, everyone thinks they are the best and people are tired of hearing about it. You have to engage your customer by thinking like them. Prove to them not only why you are the best but why you want to help them. Make them understand that you are interested in them as people and that you are on their team. Then and only then will they want to hear you.